Nigeria

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions he has had with his Nigerian counterpart on the abduction of schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria. [198588]

10 Jun 2014 : Column 92W

Mark Simmonds: The Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my right hon. Friend the Member for Richmond (Yorks) (Mr Hague), discussed the abduction of the schoolgirls with FM Wali on 18 April, and attended a Summit in Paris on 17 May with the Nigerian President, which was specially convened to discuss this issue. I discussed the abduction with President Jonathan and Defence Minister Gusau during my visit to Nigeria on 14 May. During that visit we agreed the package of support the British Government would offer to help find the girls, as well as to help tackle Boko Haram’s wider activities. Foreign Minister Wali and I have been in contact since then on the subject of Boko Haram. I look forward to further detailed conversations with him and representatives from Nigeria’s neighbours, the US, Canada, France, EU, UN and AU at this week’s ministerial meeting on security in northern Nigeria.

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what progress has been made by UK forces in the search for the schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria. [199123]

Mark Simmonds: The UK is working with the US, France, Nigeria, its neighbours and international partners to provide advice and assistance to the Nigerian Government to help them secure the safe release of the schoolgirls and defeat Boko Haram. Our Sentinel aircraft, as part of a number of allied surveillance assets, continues to conduct over-flights of Nigeria and a team of UK experts is working alongside US and French counterparts in Nigeria in the Intelligence Fusion Cell to assist the Nigerians in locating the abducted students. I look forward to taking further stock of this activity, and wider work to tackle Boko Haram, with Foreign Minister Wali and representatives from Nigeria’s neighbours, the US, France, Canada, UN, AU and EU at this week’s ministerial meeting on security in northern Nigeria.

Palestinians

Mr Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the killing of two Palestinian teenagers at Ofer on 15 May 2014; and if he will make a statement. [198596]

Hugh Robertson: Officials from our embassy in Tel Aviv raised the use of lethal force in this case with both the Israel Defence Force and the Israeli Border Police on 16 May.

On 21 May, the local EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a local statement expressing deep concern about the deaths of two Palestinian youths on 15 May in the West Bank and emphasising the importance of such incidents being investigated thoroughly. They reiterated the need for security forces, whether Israeli or Palestinian, to refrain from the use of lethal force, except in cases where there is a real and imminent threat to life.

Thailand

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what co-operation programmes between the UK and Thailand there are; and what steps he has taken to review that co-operation. [199121]

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Mr Swire: The UK and Thailand have strong bilateral ties which are exemplified by a range of activities and programmes across the political, commercial, and cultural spectrum, for example, strong trading and tourism links. We want our bilateral relationship to prosper, but in view of the rapid and serious deterioration of the democratic environment, we are reviewing the scope of our co-operation with Thailand. We are particularly concerned by restrictions on the freedoms of assembly, association and expression, and by the large number of arbitrary detentions we have seen since the coup was announced.

Tibet

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to his Chinese counterpart on human rights abuses in Tibet. [198551]

Mr Swire: Our concerns are highlighted in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy:

www.hrdreport.fco.gov.uk

the latest edition of which was published on 10 April. We last raised Tibet at the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 20 May, where we covered concerns about ethnic minority rights, as well as the criminalisation of self-immolation.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has received from (a) the Tibetan Government in exile and (b) human rights charities on human rights abuses in that country. [198552]

Mr Swire: Officials regularly meet with human rights non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to discuss the situation in Tibet. They last did so in May, following the UK-China Human Rights dialogue. I will be meeting with representatives from a number of Tibet NGOs later this month.

We also receive occasional updates from the Central Tibetan Administration, also known as the Tibetan Government in exile. We believe that meaningful dialogue is the best way to address and resolve the underlying grievances of the Tibetan communities and we continue to urge all sides to restart talks.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he is taking to reduce human rights abuses in Tibet and to offer support for victims of such abuses. [198554]

Mr Swire: We remain concerned about the situation in Tibet.

We regularly discuss our concerns on Tibet with the Chinese authorities, most recently through the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue on 19-20 May 2014 where we covered concerns about ethnic minority rights, as well as the criminalisation of self immolation. Our concerns are also highlighted in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy, the latest edition of which was published on 10 April.

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his policy is on Tibetan independence. [198590]

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Mr Swire: Our position on Tibet is clear and unchanged. As the Prime Minister outlined in Parliament on 8 May 2013, we regard Tibet as part of the People's Republic of China. We believe that long-term stability in Tibet will best be achieved through respect for universal human rights and genuine autonomy for Tibet within the framework of the Chinese constitution.

United Arab Emirates

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will hold discussions with his counterparts in the United Arab Emirates on the alleged torture of UK citizens in UAE prisons. [198716]

Hugh Robertson: The Foreign and Commonwealth Office takes allegations of mistreatment of any British national overseas extremely seriously. With the permission of an individual, we will always formally raise these with the host Government. We have raised our concerns on a number of specific cases in the UAE and will continue to use the Ministerial Taskforce and other opportunities to raise consular issues when necessary, including those relating to British Nationals in detention.

Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make representations to the government of the United Arab Emirates to ensure that Ahmad Zeidan is given his full legal rights and protections whilst in the custody of that government. [198717]

Hugh Robertson: It would not be appropriate for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to discuss the details of an individual case. However, consular officials have provided full consular assistance to Mr Zeidan since we were informed of his detention and will continue to do so. In any case where we have concerns about the welfare or human rights of a British National, with their permission, we will raise these.

Western Sahara

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received on how the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara affects the ability of terrorist and criminal gangs to recruit disaffected youth in the refugee camps or the occupied territory. [199262]

Hugh Robertson: We monitor the security situation in the region from a number of sources. We are aware of frustration in both Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps at the lack of progress in the political process and at the socio-economic conditions in the camps. However, we are not aware of any evidence to suggest increased radicalisation of Sahrawi youth by terrorist or criminal gangs.

Mr Mark Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs pursuant to the answer of 18 March 2014, Official Report, column 515W, on Western Sahara, if the Minister for the Middle East and North Africa will also meet representatives of POLISARIO, the UN-recognised body, to discuss issues relating to Western Sahara. [199433]

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Hugh Robertson: British Ministers do not have direct contact with the POLISARIO Front. Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Officials in London regularly meet POLISARIO representatives to discuss Western Sahara. FCO Officials also undertake visits to the region, and to the refugee camps at Tindouf.

Katy Clark: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of how the ongoing conflict in Western Sahara affects the ability of al-Qaeda to recruit disaffected youth in Western Sahara. [199436]

Hugh Robertson: We monitor the security situation in the region from a number of sources. We are aware of frustration in both Western Sahara and the Tindouf refugee camps at the lack of progress in the political process and at the socio-economic conditions in the camps. However, we are not aware of any evidence to suggest increased radicalisation of Sahrawi youth by terrorist or criminal gangs.

Zimbabwe

Kate Hoey: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what contacts and discussions (a) Ministers and (b) officials in his Department have had with the African National Congress regarding a possible successor to President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. [199309]

Mark Simmonds: We have regular dialogue with South Africa on a range of issues, including regional interests, at both ministerial and official level. The issue of political transition and that of successors to President Mugabe is a matter for the Zimbabwean people in line with the constitution of Zimbabwe. The UK remains keen to see a Zimbabwean Government that delivers for its people and we will continue to do all we can to support a more democratic, stable and prosperous Zimbabwe.

Health

A and E Visits

16. Mike Kane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent estimate he has made of the number of patients visiting A and E departments after having been unable to make an appointment with their GP. [904119]

Jane Ellison: There are over 300 million consultations in general practice each year. The latest general practitioner (GP) patient survey results show that less than 2% of patients attended a walk-in centre or accident and emergency department because they were unable to get a convenient appointment with their GP at their practice.

Primary Care

17. Mr Simon Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps his Department has taken to improve access to and standards of primary care. [904120]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: The Government recently outlined its ambitions in ‘Transforming Primary Care’. We have invested £50 million to improve access and made changes

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to the general practitioner (GP) contract to help ensure that patients aged over 75 and those with the most complex needs receive more personalised and proactive care.

We have also appointed a new Chief Inspector of General Practice, and the Care Quality Commission is inspecting standards in GP practices and taking strong action wherever they find poor care.

Health Allocation Formula

18. David Mowat: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had on improving the fairness of the health allocation formula. [904121]

Dr Poulter: NHS England now has responsibility for clinical commissioning group (CCG) allocations. These decisions have been taken independently of Government.

Between 2013-14 and 2015-16, Warrington CCG will receive a 7% increase in funding which is a £16.1 million uplift. The national average in this period is a 4.7% increase, which if it had been applied to Warrington would have given them £10.8 million, meaning they are £5.3 million better off than average.

Drug Dispensing Regulations

19. Kerry McCarthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the effect on patient safety of prescription drug dispensing regulations. [904122]

Dr Poulter: There are robust arrangements in place to maintain patient safety in the dispensing of prescription medicines through medicines legislation, national health service pharmaceutical services regulations and professional regulation. These arrangements are kept under review and changes made as necessary.

Failing Hospitals

20. Rehman Chishti: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department has made in turning around failing hospitals. [904123]

Mr Jeremy Hunt: Through the use of special measures, the Care Quality Commission, Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority are making considerable progress at turning around failing hospitals.

Across the trusts now in the regime, there are over 1,200 new nurses and nursing assistants, as well as 118 more doctors.

I am delighted that Basildon yesterday became the first trust to exit special measures. This is clear proof that our tough action to turn these hospitals around is working.

Healthier Together Review: Greater Manchester

21. Graham Stringer: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the conclusions of the Healthier Together review of health and care in Greater Manchester. [904124]

Jane Ellison: The reconfiguration of local health services is a matter for the local national health service.

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The Greater Manchester health economy is working to design services to improve quality and sustainability, and ensure improved outcomes for patients.

Where major service change is proposed, we expect this to be subject to full public consultation.

Maternity and Early-years Care

22. Damian Hinds: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress his Department has made in improving maternity and early-years care. [904125]

Dr Poulter: We have made improving maternity services a key objective in our Mandate to NHS England. Over the past two years we have also invested £35 million of capital funding to improve the physical environment of over 140 maternity units.

We have increased the numbers of midwives and health visitors. There are 1,700 more midwives and over 2,000 more health visitors than in 2010. In addition, there are more than 6,000 midwifery students in training. And we are committed to having an extra 4,200 health visitors by 2015.

We are expanding the Family Nurse Partnership programme-which provides dedicated one to one support to young, at risk first time mothers-to 16,000 places by 2015.

We launched the NHS Start4life Information Service for Parents, a digital service for parent-to-be and new parents in May 2012. Take up has already exceeded the sign-up target of 300,000 parents by 2015-as of 1 June over 339,000 parents had signed up to the service.

Small Rural Hospitals

23. Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what support his Department provides to small rural hospitals in England to ensure that health services are available as close to the public as possible. [904126]

Norman Lamb: Responsibility for the commissioning of local NHS services lies with clinical commissioning groups (CCGs). Small rural and community hospitals have a key role in contributing to more integrated care through better out-of-hospital care at local level for frail older people and people with long-term conditions.

Mental Health Care: Greater Manchester

24. Sir Andrew Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the average length of time between diagnosis of a mental health condition and the commencement of talking therapies in the Greater Manchester area. [904127]

Norman Lamb: By March 2015, we expect measurable progress towards achieving true parity of esteem, where everyone who needs it has timely access to evidence based services. This includes extending access to the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme to children and young people and those out of work.

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Academic Health Science Networks

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the running costs for each of the academic health science networks are. [199345]

Norman Lamb: The information requested is not available.

NHS England advises us that individual funding levels and programme costs vary between Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs). NHS England budget allocations are not their sole source of income and AHSNs are seeking to supplement this funding through participation in strategic investment programmes and match-funding initiatives. Core running costs are for AHSNs to determine independently and may also be subject to change through the year.

Further information on AHSN work programmes and business plans can be found on their websites:

AHSNWebsite

East Midlands

www.emahsn.ac.uk

Eastern

www.eahsn.org.uk

Imperial College Health Partners

www.imperialcollegehealthpartners.com

Greater Manchester

www.gmahsn.org

Kent, Surrey and Sussex

www.kssahsn.net

North East and North Cumbria

www.ahsn-nenc.org.uk

North West Coast

www.nwcahsn.nhs.uk

Oxford

www.oxfordahsn.org

South London

www.kingshealthpartners.org/info/southlondonahsn

South West Peninsula

www.swahsn.com

UCL Partners

www.uclpartners.com

Wessex

www.wessexahsn.org

West Midlands

www.wmahsn.org

West of England

www.weahsn.net

Yorkshire and Humber

www.yhahsn.org.uk

Ambulance Services

Helen Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to improve ambulance services. [904113]

Jane Ellison: NHS England is working with Monitor and the NHS Trust Development Authority to improve performance in 2014-15, this includes a workstream looking at best practice.

However, this Government also wants to tackle the root causes of the increasing demand on urgent and emergency care services.

That is why the Urgent and Emergency Care review, led by Sir Bruce Keogh, is currently considering whole system change to the delivery of urgent and emergency care, including new models of delivery of care for ambulance services, such as:

general practitioner and other clinical support/advice in control rooms and to crews on the ground and how it can reduce conveyance rates (particularly for frail and elderly, mental health, and children) and;

prevention work available to the Ambulance Service: early diagnosis and risk management.

In addition, as part of the review, NHS England is working closely with stakeholders (including the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives) to ensure that ambulance

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services can be further developed and commissioned as a treatment as well as a transport service.

As part of this work, an Ambulance Task Group has been set up and is working with Health Education England to reform the training and careers framework for paramedics-to involve developing a skilled set of advanced practitioners in the Ambulance Service to deliver care closer to home using hear & treat and see & treat models.

The first phase of the review was published last November. We expect NHS England to be publishing further reports later this year.

Back Pain

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent discussions he has had with NHS England on the potential for exercise to reduce the need for patients to have back surgery. [198749]

Norman Lamb: There is evidence that physical activity can alleviate lower back pain and can benefit musculoskeletal health. However, there have been no specific discussions between Department of Health Ministers and NHS England on the potential for exercise to reduce the need for patients to have back surgery.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that a structured exercise programme, tailored to the person, be offered as a treatment option for early management of persistent, non-specific back pain.

Public Health England is working with partners, including the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance, Arthritis Research UK and the business sector to encourage better prevention and management of back pain, particularly through the promotion of physical activity.

Clinical Trials

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps are taken to verify the competence of (a) doctors and nurses and (b) staff of pharmaceutical companies involved in the conduct of clinical trials. [198571]

Dr Poulter: The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) expect everyone involved in a clinical trial to be qualified and trained to perform their tasks (as per Schedule 1, part 2 (2) of the Medicines for Human Use (Clinical Trials) Regulations(SI 2004/1031).

Staff of pharmaceutical companies are not “conducting” a trial as defined in the clinical trial regulation (SI 2004/1031 Reg 2 “interpretation”). However, the same Good Clinical Practice principles apply to those involved in clinical trial activities; i.e. they should be qualified and trained to perform their tasks. At sponsor site inspection, inspectors will verify the training records, CV, and job description of selected employees to confirm adequate training has been given.

Sponsors are expected to carry out checks in audits or monitoring to ensure that on completion of training, staff are indeed carrying out their duties according to requirements and/or procedures (these checks should be documented in monitoring/audit reports). Inspectors check the monitoring visit reports to determine non-compliances are adequately followed up and re-training is given to site personnel when necessary.

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The voluntary MHRA Phase 1 Accreditation Scheme requires that a Principal Investigator (PI) for a First in Human study has relevant experience and a post graduate qualification in pharmaceutical medicine (such as a Diploma in Pharmaceutical medicine, Diploma in Human Pharmacology, MSc in Clinical Pharmacology or equivalent). An exemption to this requirement has been issued for PI's that do not have a post graduate qualification but are able to demonstrate that they have a significant amount of experience in this field (and are often involved in teaching the post-graduate courses). An application for an exemption is assessed independently by the Faculty of Medicine.

Health

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what use his Department has made of the National Wellbeing Index introduced by the Office for National Statistics in formulating policy since the introduction of that Index in 2011; and what policies his Department has introduced to improve national wellbeing as defined in that Index since 2010. [198869]

Norman Lamb: The Department has worked closely with the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on the development of the Measuring National Wellbeing Framework. Given the experimental nature of the data it is too early to use it specifically to formulate policy. However, some examples of relevant work taken forward by the Department include:

working in partnership with ONS to include a measure of mental wellbeing into the Measuring National Wellbeing Framework;

including wellbeing questions on a range of health surveys, for example the Health Survey for England, Health Behaviours of School-aged Children, the trial of a local level survey of 15-year-olds, and the current wave of the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey;

including wellbeing as a key indicator in the Public Health Outcomes Framework;

publishing a narrative and a series of factsheets on why wellbeing matters to health policy;

publishing a report on the predictors of wellbeing across the lifecourse;

conducting two wellbeing workshops with policy makers to allow them to consider their policies from a wellbeing perspective; and

co-founding a collaborative studentship with the University of Warwick on positive genetics using twin data to explore how genetics are related to wellbeing.

Wellbeing will also be considered in the forthcoming chief medical officer's annual report.

Health Services: Complaints

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what steps he is taking to raise awareness among service users of how to navigate the complaints systems in health and social care; [198694]

(2) what steps he has taken to implement improvements in health and social are services arising from complaints and feedback made by service users. [198696]

Dr Poulter: The Department is working with partners across the health and care system to make improvements to complaints handling. This includes Healthwatch England working to improve the information and advice that

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people receive when they need support to raise a concern or make a complaint. It also includes working with the Care Quality Commission as they develop their inspection methodology across health and social care so it places greater emphasis on listening to, and learning from, complaints as well as other sources of patient feedback. A single legislative framework exists for complaints handling to ensure consistency across the health and social care system.

Health Services: Ombudsman

Mr Buckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of aligning health services in regulatory bodies and ombudsman services; [198697]

(2) what steps he is taking to simplify ombudsman services in health and social care; [198693]

(3) if he will make an assessment on the potential merits of merging health and social care ombudsman services in England. [198695]

Dr Poulter: The Government is considering reports of the Public Administration Select Committee into how complaints about public services are handled. As part of this inquiry, the Cabinet Office is undertaking work to further investigate how public services can make best use of complaints and also to take a wider look at the role and powers of the public sector Ombudsmen. The Government will respond to these reports in due course.

Hospitals: Television

Mr Sheerman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recent meetings he has had with NHS England on the contracting of provision of television services in hospitals. [198561]

Dr Poulter: The Secretary of State for Health, my right hon. Friend the Member for South West Surrey (Mr Hunt), has not had any recent meetings with NHS England on the contracting of the provision of television services in hospitals.

Human Papillomavirus

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the potential cost of extending the human papilloma virus vaccination programme to include all boys aged 12 and 13 years. [199382]

Jane Ellison: We have not made any estimate of extending the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programme to include boys aged 12 and 13 years, as the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has not yet completed its consideration of whether HPV vaccine should be offered to males.

Mental Health Services

Paul Blomfield: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the oral answer of 1 April 2014, Official Report, column 714, on physical and mental health (parity of esteem), in what ways he plans to achieve complete transparency in the availability of data on mental health spending. [198646]

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Norman Lamb: NHS England currently collects and publishes information about mental health spending via its Programme Budgeting Datasetand published expenditure data for 2012-13 on 21 February 2014. This is available on its website at:

www.england.nhs.uk/resources/resources-for-ccgs/prog-budgeting/

We are working with NHS England to support its plans to develop this dataset for 2013-14 to provide a more meaningful analysis of expenditure.

Mental Illness

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Health with reference to the answer of 21 November 2012, Official Report, columns 511-2W, on death, what the prevalence of adults living in private households in England having at least one psychiatric condition was in the most recent period for which figures are available. [198856]

Norman Lamb: The answer of 21 November 2012, Official Report, columns 511-12W, contains the latest data. The following table shows the estimated prevalence of adults living in private households in England having at least one psychiatric condition1.

Age rangeAdults meeting the criteria for, or screening positive for, one or more psychiatric condition 1, 2

16-24

32.3

25-34

30.0

35-44

22.9

45-54

25.0

55-64

18.7

65-74

12.7

75+

10.5

Percentage all

23.0

1 'Psychiatric conditions' include the most common mental disorders (namely anxiety and depressive disorders) as well as: psychotic disorder; antisocial and borderline personality disorders; eating disorder; posttraumatic stress disorder; attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; alcohol and drug dependency; and problem behaviours such as problem gambling and suicide attempts. These are defined according to different classification criteria and refer to a variety of different, reference periods, as detailed in the background information provided. Mixed anxiety and depressive disorder was defined following the exclusion of other common mental disorders. 2 Figures above were calculated by subtracting the prevalence of adults with no psychiatric condition from 100. Note: This table is an excerpt from Table 12.1 in Chapter 12 (Co-morbidity) of the APMS 2007 report: www.ic.nhs.uk/pubs/psychiatricmorbidity07 Source: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity (APMS) Survey 2007.

The Department has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research and the University of Leicester to undertake the 2014 Adult Psychological Morbidity Survey.

Motor Neurone Disease

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many people diagnosed with motor neurone disease there have been in the UK in each of the last five years; [199099]

(2) how many people with motor neurone disease have been treated by the NHS with iGaze technology in each of the last five years. [199100]

Norman Lamb: Data on the number of people diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) is not collected. However, it is estimated that there are about 5,000 people living with MND in the United Kingdom.

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Information regarding the number of people with MND who are using 'eye gaze' technology, a type of specialised augmentative and assistive communication aid, is not held centrally.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate his Department has made of the number of people in the UK with a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder in each of the last five years. [198744]

Norman Lamb: The Department does not hold data on an annual basis of the numbers of people with a diagnosis of obsessive compulsive disorder. The Department has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research and the University of Leicester to undertake the 2014 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey.

The Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey in 2007 found that 1.3% of people aged 16-64 living in England reported that they had obsessive compulsive disorder.

Pregnant Women: Alcoholic Drinks

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the Government's assessment is of the effectiveness of warning labels on alcoholic beverages regarding drinking during pregnancy; and what assessment he has made of the potential benefits of making such labels mandatory. [199389]

Jane Ellison: Research in the evidence around the effectiveness of alcohol harm reduction communications and related campaigns suggests that labelling and point of sale information can have an impact on consumption, in conjunction with broader campaigns to raise consumer awareness and education on the health risks linked to alcohol consumption.

As part of the Public Health Responsibility Deal, alcohol retailers and producers have committed to putting an agreed warning or a pregnancy warning logo on 80% of labels on bottles and cans by the end of 2013. An independent market survey is underway to measure compliance. This level of coverage should allow the majority of consumers to see the pregnancy warning and logo.

Prostate Cancer

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what assessment he has made of the changes in the level of access to prostate cancer treatments since 2010; [199302]

(2) what treatments for prostate cancer are routinely funded by NHS England; [199303]

(3) what assessment his Department has made of outcomes for men with advanced prostate cancer. [199304]

Jane Ellison: The NHS England Specialised Commissioning team introduced nationally developed service specifications for a range of areas, including prostate cancer, during 2013-14. Prior to 2013, prostate cancer was routinely commissioned by primary care trusts, and as such, an assessment of the changes in the level of access to prostate cancer treatments since 2010 is not technically feasible.

Routinely commissioned treatments for prostate cancer are: (i) radical prostatectomy; (ii) radical external beam radiotherapy; and (iii) radical brachytherapy. In addition,

10 Jun 2014 : Column 104W

NHS England routinely commissions systemic treatments for prostate cancer, including hormone therapy and chemotherapy.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published technology appraisal guidance which recommends docetaxel (Taxotere) for hormone-refractory prostate cancer and abiraterone (Zytiga), in combination with prednisolone or prednisone, for castration-resistant metastatic prostate cancer previously treated with one docetaxel-containing regimen. NICE is also currently developing technology appraisal guidance on a number of other drugs for prostate cancer.

National health service commissioners are legally required by regulations to fund those treatments recommended by NICE in its technology appraisal guidance.

Five-year survival rates improved from around 42% in the late 1980s to 79.7% in 2007 (currently 80.2% according to data for 2006-10 published in October 2012) due in part to the effects of increased Prostate Specific Antigen testing and earlier detection. However, survival rates in England are still lagging behind comparable countries in Europe.

Cancer Research UK has estimated that men with advanced, incurable prostate cancer treated in trials or under drug access schemes at the Royal Marsden hospital survived on average 41 months, compared to between 13 and 16 months, 10 years ago.

The Government’s Mandate to NHS England sets out an ambition to make England one of the most successful countries in Europe at preventing premature deaths from all cancers, including prostate cancer. Cancer indicators in the NHS outcomes framework and the public health outcomes framework will help NHS England to assess progress in improving cancer survival and mortality for men with prostate cancer.

Social Services

Sarah Newton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what the annual cost to the public purse is of processing applications for free social care in England; [198598]

(2) how many applications for free social care were (a) approved and (b) rejected in England in (i) 2012 and (ii) 2013; [198599]

(3) what recent estimate his Department has made of the cost of administering the social care means test in England. [198597]

Norman Lamb: Access to State financial support for adult social care in England is means-tested and is not generally provided free of charge. In this way, individuals are expected to pay towards the cost of their care and support based on what they can afford.

Adults with less than £23,250 in capital can seek help with the cost of social care from their local authority. Local authorities carry out a financial assessment to decide what an individual can afford to pay. Local authorities must take account of an individual’s capital assets and income, including income from benefits and the state pension.

Information on the cost to local authorities of carrying out financial assessments is not collected centrally.

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In its 2011 report, the independent Palliative Care Funding Review recommended the provision of free social care at the end of life. A series of palliative care funding pilots were established to test the review’s recommendations, and these completed their work in March 2014. NHS England is currently analysing the financial data collected from the pilots. Once this analysis has been completed, a decision will be made on the issue of free social care at the end of life, taking into account this analysis and wider policy and financial considerations.

Jim Dobbin: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many appeals were made by applicants for social care at the end of their life in the last two years; how many such appeals were successful; and what proportion of total appeals against decisions about social care such appeals represent; [198962]

(2) how many people in England in receipt of free social care are terminally ill. [199001]

Norman Lamb: Local authorities have a duty to assess the needs of any person for whom the authority may arrange social care and who may be in need of such care. They have a further duty to decide, having regard to the results of the assessment, what, if any, care and support they should provide to meet the individual’s needs. Where a local authority decides to arrange care and support it will carry out a financial assessment to decide what an individual can afford to contribute towards the cost. Appeals against decisions by local authorities are considered locally. Information about appeals is not collected centrally.

In its 2011 report, the independent Palliative Care Funding Review recommended the provision of free social care at the end of life. A series of palliative care funding pilots were established to test the review’s recommendations, and these completed their work in March 2014. NHS England is currently analysing the financial data collected from the pilots. Once this analysis has been completed, a decision will be made on the issue of free social care at the end of life, taking into account this analysis and wider policy and financial considerations.

Sunbeds

Luciana Berger: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the Government plans to respond to the recommendations set out in the report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Skin on sunbed regulation published in 2014. [199381]

Jane Ellison: The Government has noted the report and is currently considering how to respond to the recommendations.

Deputy Prime Minister

British Irish Council

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister when he last attended a meeting of the British-Irish Council summit. [199386]

The Deputy Prime Minister: I attended the British-Irish Council summit held in Derry/Londonderry on 21 June 2013.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 106W

Elections: Tower Hamlets

Jim Fitzpatrick: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the Electoral Commission's efforts to improve the conduct of elections in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. [199175]

Greg Clark: The integrity of our elections is central to our democracy.

I am aware that the Electoral Commission is investigating allegations of electoral misconduct in Tower Hamlets at the recent local elections and the Metropolitan police are conducting a number of criminal investigations. I have written to the chair of the Electoral Commission, stressing the importance of ensuring public confidence in the electoral process.

Given the gravity of the allegations it is important that the Electoral Commission provides a robust assessment of what went on in Tower Hamlets and includes firm recommendations of how to ensure the integrity of future elections.

Electoral Register

Chris Ruane: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what recent discussions he has had with (a) church and community leaders from black and minority ethnic communities and (b) Operation Black Vote on increasing registration levels for voters in those communities. [198964]

Greg Clark: I met recently with Operation Black Vote to discuss the importance of electoral registration.

The Government is keen to work with groups and organisations to support and raise the profile of the importance of voter registration among all communities.

Northern Ireland Government

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what meetings he has had with (a) the First Minister, (b) the Deputy First Minister and (c) both the First and Deputy First Ministers of Northern Ireland in the last 12 months. [199366]

The Deputy Prime Minister: There are many meetings involving the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive which I attend, including meetings of the Joint Ministerial Committee and the British-Irish Council.

Electoral Commission Committee

Electoral Register

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, with reference to the answer of 24 February 2014, Official Report, column 19W, on electoral register, with which civic society organisations the Electoral Commission is proactively seeking partnership for the purpose of increasing electoral registration. [198724]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that it is seeking to establish new partnerships and ways of working with a wide range of organisations to help ensure voters are aware of what they need to do under the new system of individual electoral registration.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 107W

In addition to the partnerships it is currently finalising, the Commission will continue seeking to establish new partnerships up to, and beyond, the next UK parliamentary general election in 2015 to achieve this. As partnerships are finalised, they will be highlighted on the Commission’s website and we will make Members aware of where they can find this information when the first batch of information is published online.

Electoral Register: North West

Yvonne Fovargue: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, what the electoral registration figures were in each ward in the recent conformation dry run conducted in the (a) Makerfield constituency and (b) Borough of Wigan. [199308]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission informs me that the confirmation dry run involved matching all entries on the electoral registers against the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Customer Information System database. Entries would be marked as green if they matched with DWP, amber if they were a partial match or red if there was no match.

Results for all wards are available on the Commission’s website here:

http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/excel_doc/0003/163146/Confirmation-dry-run-2013-Results-Wards.xls

The ward results for Makerfield were as follows:

WardGreen matchesAmber matchesRed matches

Abram

9,207

174

1,688

Ashton

7,982

106

1,131

Bryn

8,197

92

1,035

Hindley

8,674

124

1,358

Hindley Green

7,593

109

1,046

Orrell

8,208

129

1,194

Winstanley

8,003

66

922

Worsley Mesnes

8,006

104

1,087

The ward results for borough of Wigan were as follows:

WardGreen matchesAmber matchesRed matches

Abram

9,207

174

1,688

Ashton

7,982

106

1,131

Aspull New Springs Whelley

8,870

172

1,352

Astley Mosley Common

8,168

146

1,253

Atherleigh

7,257

141

1,421

Atherton

9,641

144

1,647

Bryn

8,197

92

1,035

Douglas

8,241

130

1,652

Golborne and Lowton West

7,788

109

1,305

Hindley

8,674

124

1,358

Hindley Green

7,593

109

1,046

Ince

7,755

127

1,487

Leigh East

7,867

199

1,471

Leigh South

9,116

142

1,484

Leigh West

9,200

171

1,851

Lowton East

8,630

97

1,182

Orrell

8,208

129

1,194

Pemberton

8,515

167

1,460

Shevington with Lower Ground

8,217

100

1,081

10 Jun 2014 : Column 108W

Standish with Langtree

8,594

131

1,166

Tyldesley

8,901

114

1,548

Wigan Central

7,776

180

1,563

Wigan West

8,599

146

1,488

Winstanley

8,003

66

922

Worsley Mesnes

8,006

104

1,087

European Parliament Elections

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, what (a) number and (b) proportion of voters voted (i) at a polling station and (ii) by postal ballot in each European parliamentary constituency in each such election since 1984. [198859]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission was formed in 2000 and as a result it only holds information from the 2004 European parliamentary elections onwards. It has placed the data it holds in the Library.

The full datasets for the 2014 European parliamentary elections will be available at the end of August.

Police and Crime Commissioners: Elections

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, what (a) number and (b) proportion of voters voted (i) at a polling station and (ii) by postal ballot in each police authority area in the 2012 Police and Crime Commissioner elections. [198860]

Mr Streeter: The Electoral Commission has placed the answer to the hon. Member’s question in the Library.

Written Questions

Chris Ruane: To ask the hon. Member for South West Devon, representing the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission, what guidance the Electoral Commission follows in determining whether statistics in answers to parliamentary questions are (a) provided in full, (b) provided via a link to a website and (c) placed in the Library. [199268]

Mr Streeter: Wherever possible, when responding to parliamentary questions for statistical data, the Electoral Commission aims to provide information that has not been previously published in full and in line with the Official Report’s rules on the presentation of answers.

Where information has previously been published, such as in response to a previous parliamentary question or within one of the commission’s reports, it takes a view on whether it republishes the information or provides a link to where it is already published, on a case by case basis taking into account whether, for example, it would be helpful for it to be seen in its full context. Consideration of whether information is deposited in the Library includes whether the answer is longer than four pages and does not already exist in a consolidated format on a website.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 109W

Business, Innovation and Skills

Animal Experiments

Graham Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many (a) cats, (b) dogs and (c) horses were rehomed after their release from laboratories following research in 2012. [198952]

Norman Baker: I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Home Department.

The Home Office does not hold the information requested.

Under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, authority may be given to re-home animals where those animals were bred or held for supply for use in regulated procedures, or were intended for use in regulated procedures, or have been used in regulated procedures. This may also apply to animals which are being kept under the care of the Named Veterinary Surgeon after completing procedures, and is always contingent on our acceptance of certain reassurances relating to Section 17A of the Act. Records of each animal re-homed would be kept locally at the licensed establishment so that they can be available to Home Office Inspectors on request.

European Directive 2010/63/EU, which was implemented in the UK and other member states on 1 January 2013, does not provide legal grounds on which the UK can impose a mandatory obligation of re-homing under the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. Nevertheless, we have provided guidance on re-homing animals in our Guidance on the Operation of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1983, section 5.21.

Special Educational Needs

Oliver Colvile: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what specialist one-to-one study skills support will be available for students with specific learning difficulties following the review of the disabled students allowance; and who will provide that support. [199301]

Mr Willetts: Discussions are under way with stakeholders, including those who specialise in supporting students with specific learning difficulties. This will help determine how specialist one-to-one support will be delivered in the future and where the responsibility for funding such support will fall.

I will not make a final decision on this matter until I have considered the necessary Equality Analysis, which is in preparation, and will take account of any relevant evidence provided by stakeholders.

Northern Ireland

Staff

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proportion of (a) staff and (b) senior staff in her Department are female. [199397]

Mrs Villiers: As of April 2014, 51% of staff in my Department, and 12.5% of the senior civil servants in my Department, are female.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 110W

Mr Ivan Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many (a) permanent and (b) non-permanent staff were employed in her Department on 1 January 2014. [199419]

Mrs Villiers: As of 1 January 2014, my Department employed 158 permanent members of staff made up of Home civil servants and Northern Ireland civil servants seconded to the NIO.

One member of staff was employed on a temporary basis and in addition three part-time members of staff engaged on an annual contract.

Defence

BAE Systems

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what estimate he has made of the disposal cost for BAE System's Woodford site. [199144]

Mr Francois: The Ministry of Defence has made no estimate for the disposal cost for the Woodford site; it is a matter for BAE Systems.

ICT

Mr Nigel Evans: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence which companies have registered an interest in the contract for the JAMES requirement. [198985]

Mr Dunne: The current contract for the Joint Asset Management Engineering Solution (JAMES) was let on 1 July 2004. A restricted competition is currently underway to provide JAMES capability from expiry on 31 December 2015.

I am withholding information on those companies which have registered an interest as its disclosure would prejudice commercial interests.

Military Aircraft

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times aircraft have been intercepted by Quick Reaction Alert flights by (a) intercepted aircraft type and (b) location in each of the last three years. [199113]

Mr Francois: The number of days on which Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) aircraft have launched to intercept aircraft in each of the last three years is contained in the following table. Not every launch resulted in an interception as some incidents were resolved prior to interception.

 Number of days QRA was launched

2011

20

2012

21

2013

17

I am withholding full details of the number of interceptions, aircraft type and locations as deterrence is a principal function of QRA and QRA is in turn an integral part of the air defence of the UK. The disclosure of information that might compromise the QRA deterrent capability would, or would be likely to, prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 111W

Nuclear Weapons

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what analysis has been carried out by the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston into the effects on (a) human beings, (b) other animals and (c) the wider environment of the use of a nuclear warhead in the UK nuclear arsenal. [198935]

Mr Dunne: The effects of the use of a UK nuclear warhead are underpinned by modelling and analysis. The effects are dependent on a wide range of variable factors including:

the yield and design of the weapon;

the accuracy of the delivery system;

the nature and construction of the target;

the geographical characteristics of the surrounding terrain;

geological conditions in the target area;

the height of weapon burst; and

the weather conditions at the target.

Radioactive Waste: Fife

Mr Gordon Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if he will visit Dalgety Bay to discuss the time taken to clean up radiation contamination there; [198994]

(2) when he was first made aware of health risks at Dalgety Bay; [198702]

(3) if he will publish the advice received by his Department on health risks of the radiation contamination at Dalgety Bay. [198703]

Mr Francois: In 2006 the then Health Protection Agency (HPA) Radiological Protection Authority advised that radioactive contamination on Dalgety Bay presented a low risk to the public. A more recent scoping risk assessment undertaken in 2011 by the HPA Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards at the bequest of the Scottish Government concluded that the risk to health was very low.

The view of the Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards (now part of Public Health England) remains unchanged. However, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) is completing a detailed quantitative risk assessment to inform the longer term management strategy which will be available in due course.

Copies of the advice received by MOD together with a copy of the more detailed risk assessment, when published, will be placed in the Library of the House.

Rescue Services

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence on how many occasions a foreign-requested aircraft has provided search and rescue assistance over UK territorial waters in each of the last three years; what role each such aircraft played; what the location of each incident was; and whether each occurrence was in response to obligations under Annex 12 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. [199114]

10 Jun 2014 : Column 112W

Mr Francois: I refer the hon. Member to the answers previously given to him on 22 November 2013, Official Report, column 1046W and 27 March 2012 Official Report, column 1054W.

Between 4 November 2013 and 5 June 2014 there have been five occasions where an Irish helicopter was requested by the Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre to provide search and rescue assistance over UK territorial waters. Four of these were in Northern Ireland. These were in response to obligations under Annex 12 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation. Details of the five incidents are shown as follows:

DateAircraftAircraft roleLocation

15 November 2013

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Ditched Aircraft

Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

12 February 2014

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Topcover for lifeboat

Mull of Kintyre, Scotland

16 February 2014

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Individual with knee injury

Binnian, Northern Ireland

21 March 2014

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Individual with hip injury

Rathlin island, Northern Ireland

16 May 2014

Irish Coastguard Helicopter

Capsized individual

Enniskillen, Northern Ireland

Detailed statistics on UK military SAR activity can be found on the Government website at the following link:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/hub/release-calendar/index.html?newquery=*&uday=0&umonth=0&uyear= 0&title=Military+Search+and+Rescue+Monthly+Statistic& pagetype=calendar-entry&lday=&lmonth=&lyear=

Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many times his Department has provided top-cover fixed-wing search and rescue assets for a search and rescue mission in each of the last two years; and what aircraft were used in each case. [199129]

Mr Francois: Information on the occasions when Ministry of Defence (MOD) aircraft have provided top-cover fixed wing search and rescue (SAR) assets for a SAR mission is provided in the following table:

 Aircraft typeNumber of SAR missions

2012

E3-D Sentry

1

2013

None

0

20141

C130

1

1 To 5 June 2014.

Aircraft provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency or overseas governments may also be tasked by MOD to participate in rescue missions.

Sovereignty: Scotland

Eric Joyce: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many members of the UK armed forces would lose their jobs as a result of Scottish independence. [198711]

Mr Francois: The UK Government is not planning for Scottish independence and neither is the Ministry of Defence. Existing members of the UK armed forces would still be part of the UK armed forces and, as far as the UK Government is concerned, would be able to continue to serve in them, subject to the usual requirements of service.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 113W

Surveillance: Aircraft

Mr Watson: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many surveillance aircraft with capacity to intercept telephone or other electronic telecommunications his Department operates. [199427]

Mr Francois: I am withholding the information requested as its disclosure would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of the armed forces.

Leader of the House

Written Questions: Government Responses

Alison Seabeck: To ask the Leader of the House how many questions to each Department did not receive a substantive answer by the time of prorogation; and how long each question had been waiting for an answer. [199244]

Mr Lansley: This information is not held centrally and would be a matter for the individual Departments concerned.

My office collates wider departmental performance information for ordinary and named day parliamentary questions, which I submit in relation to each Session to the Procedure Committee. Each Department is required to set out in its evidence to the Procedure Committee, any factors which have caused delays in answering written questions.

Statistics relating to departmental performance for the 2012-13, 2010-12 and 2009-10 parliamentary Sessions were previously provided to the Committee and are available on the Parliament website. I expect to provide data for the last parliamentary Session shortly.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Animal Welfare: Circuses

Mr Godsiff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he plans to bring forward legislative proposals on the use of wild animals in circuses. [198953]

George Eustice: We will introduce a Bill to end the use of wild animals in circuses when parliamentary time allows.

Birds

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of song birds in the UK. [198742]

George Eustice: The UK has designated 615 sites as Special Areas of Conservation under the Habitats Directive, and 270 sites as Special Protection Areas under the Birds Directive to provide protection to our most vulnerable and threatened wild birds.

Agri-environment schemes are the principal means of improving habitat for farmland songbirds, assisting farmers to provide additional habitat and food on their farms

10 Jun 2014 : Column 114W

for birds and other wildlife. The Government also supports the Campaign for the Farmed Environment to provide better habitats for farmland birds.

The Government has provided £7.5 million to establish 12 Nature Improvement Areas. These are intended to benefit birds by improving existing habitat, creating new habitat and improving connectivity between habitats.

Bovine Tuberculosis

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer of 25 November 2013, Official Report, column 20W, on Bovine Tuberculosis, and to answer 3 of his Department's response to Freedom of Information request RFI 6487, Investigations into culling as an option, published on 7 May 2014, for what reasons the answer to the hon. Member for Brighton, Pavilion did not give information on the trials into using gas as a potential method for culling badgers which began in Summer 2013; on what date those trials commenced; and if he will make a statement. [198791]

George Eustice: In August 2013, we commissioned new research into alternative methods of culling badgers.

The first step involved reviewing and updating the ‘Review of effectiveness, environmental impact, humaneness and feasibility of lethal methods for badger control’ published in 2005. The review was completed in September 2013.

In October and November 2013 we carried out initial trials of nitrogen-filled foam to analyse its dispersal in an artificial sett-like environment. These trials did not involve the use of active setts or tests on live animals.

Further research is now planned into the use of carbon monoxide as a potential sett-based means of humane culling.

Floods

Maria Eagle: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much of the Support for Fishermen Fund to replace lost and damaged fishing gear has been received by fishermen and businesses to date. [198650]

George Eustice: To date, one claim for support to replace lost and damaged fishing gear has been made with a grant value of £2,320, with final validation checks currently being carried out against another three claims worth £14,257. So far, 110 applications have been received with a grant value of £349,218. Of these, 33 projects have been approved so far with a grant value of £74,047.

Glyphosate

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance he has issued on the use of glyphosate to (a) national park authorities and (b) managers of public parks in urban areas; and if he will make a statement. [198627]

Dan Rogerson: Detailed guidance on use is provided by conditions of use on individual product labels. This

10 Jun 2014 : Column 115W

is supplemented by “The Code of Practice for Using Plant Protection Products”, which provides guidance to all users on the safe and effective use of pesticides, including glyphosate.

Caroline Lucas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the answer given in the House of Lords of 28 October 2013, Official Report, column 208W, on Agriculture: Pesticides, if he will place in the Library a list of the (a) published research being considered by the current review of the EU approval of glyphosate and (b) ongoing or completed research relating to potential links between glyphosate and chronic diseases and conditions in humans. [198628]

Dan Rogerson: Lists of the studies found by a search of published literature and of those determined to be relevant by the German regulatory authorities, who are assessing the data on behalf of the EU, can be found in Volume 3 of the Renewal Assessment Report. This was published on 12 March 2014 on the European Food Safety Authority’s website at:

http://dar.efsa.europa.eu/dar-web/provision

The Government do not plan to publish a separate list of ongoing or completed research.

Health

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what use his Department has made of the National Wellbeing Index introduced by the Office for National Statistics in formulating policy since the introduction of that Index in 2011; and what policies his Department has introduced to improve national wellbeing as defined in that Index since 2010. [198868]

Dan Rogerson: There is no National Wellbeing Index, but the Office for National Statistics has developed a dashboard of measures to monitor wellbeing, both subjective and objective, and in a number of domains.

The most DEFRA relevant measures are:

Where we live domain

5.3 Accessed natural environment at least once a week in the last 12 months.

Environment Domain

10.2 Protected areas in the UK.

10.4 Household waste that is recycled.

It is too early to be able to show a large number of policies which have been influenced by the data, particularly when the statistics are experimental, but there is still a lot of ongoing work. In terms of my Department’s policy work on wellbeing and the general approach, DEFRA officials provided written evidence for the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) Inquiry on Wellbeing initiated last year. This evidence was co-ordinated by the Cabinet Office and submitted on behalf of Government. The evidence document can be found here:

http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/environmental-audit-committee/wellbeing/written/1069.pdf

10 Jun 2014 : Column 116W

Horses

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he or officials of his Department have had on the effects of digestion of sycamore tree seeds on horses; and what estimate he has made of the number of horses that have died as a result of ingesting such seeds. [198739]

George Eustice: Digestion of sycamore seeds can cause equine atypical myopathy. However, like many other equine illnesses, such as strangles and equine influenza, this is not a notifiable disease so there has been no need for active Government intervention.

DEFRA works closely with the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) in identifying cases of this emerging condition in the British equine population. This includes monitoring scientific developments and inclusion of data in the joint DEFRA/AHT/BEVA Equine Quarterly Disease Surveillance Report published on the AHT’s website.

This type of surveillance and communication enables private veterinarians to advise horse keepers to avoid pasture containing sycamore trees during high risk periods and to provide additional forage on fields where grazing is poor. This should be sufficient to mitigate against this illness. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep in touch with the equine veterinary profession to be aware of developments.

Merlins

Jim Shannon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent estimate he has made of the number of merlins in the UK; and what steps his Department is taking to maintain their numbers and habitat. [198748]

George Eustice: The merlin is protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 which makes it an offence to take, kill or injure any wild bird; take or damage their nests while in use; and take or destroy an egg. This robust legal framework protects the merlin from persecution, with penalties including imprisonment.

The Department has not made an assessment of merlin population levels. A study by Ewing et al reported that in 2008 there were approximately 1,100 breeding pairs of merlins in the UK.

Several measures are in place to protect habitats. The UK has designated 615 sites as Special Areas of Conservation under the Habitats Directive, and 270 sites as Special Protection Areas under the Birds Directive to provide protection to our most vulnerable and threatened wild birds.

The Government has also provided £7.5 million to establish twelve Nature Improvement Areas. These are intended to benefit birds by improving existing habitat, creating new habitat and improving connectivity between habitats.

Poultry

David T. C. Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the Government's policy is on beak trimming of chickens; and if he will make a statement. [199160]

10 Jun 2014 : Column 117W

George Eustice: The Mutilations (Permitted Procedures) (England) Regulations 2010 restricts the method used for the routine beak trimming of laying hens to infra-red technology only. The Government is also working with the Beak Trimming Action Group, which includes representatives from industry, welfare groups and scientists, to find ways to manage flocks of birds without the need to beak trim. DEFRA is currently funding a peer reviewed research study to assess the effectiveness of management strategies in reducing injurious pecking in non-beak trimmed laying hens. The results of this pilot study and all other available evidence will feed into a review in 2015.

Cabinet Office

Civil Servants

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what progress his Department has made on (a) the Cabinet Office capabilities plan published in April 2013 and (b) the key area specified in that plan on redesigning services and delivering them digitally. [199432]

Mr Maude: The 2013 Civil Service-wide Capabilities Plan identified four priorities for capability building, one of which is digital capability. The report and the Government's Civil Service Reform plan noted that there was a long-standing weakness in digital capability. If action had begun under a previous Administration to address this the digital capability of the civil service would have been far better at the time of the last general election.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 118W

The Cabinet Office publishes Quarterly Progress Reports against the Government Digital Strategy, which covers digital capability. This can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/government-digital-strategy-reports-and-research

Crime: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office (1) how many offences of (a) crime related to vehicles, (b) burglary of a dwelling, (c) other burglary, (d) criminal damage, (e) theft, (f) violence and (g) other crimes were committed in York in each year since 2004-05; [198508]

(2) how many crimes were reported to the police in York in each year since 2004-05. [198509]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated June 2014:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many offences of total crime, crime related to vehicles, burglary of a dwelling, other burglary, criminal damage, theft, violence, and other crimes were committed in York in each year since 2004/05 [198508 and 198509]

Police recorded crime figures are provided for the last nine financial years (April to March) for York Local Authority. These figures are the published figures which are crimes recorded by the police.

York—Police recorded crime
 2004-052005-062006-072007-082009-092009-102010-112011-122012-13

Theft1

6,062

5,931

5,467

5,291

5,167

4,705

5,145

4,567

4,046

Vehicle offences

3,224

3,841

3,556

2,498

2,392

1,276

1,254

1,172

951

Domestic burglary

1,117

1,081

1,065

975

1,113

691

753

671

571

Non-domestic burglary

1,596

1,702

1,577

1,343

1,272

1,115

1,327

1,236

875

Criminal damage and arson

4,579

4,339

4,143

3,637

3,633

2,784

2,473

2,073

1,854

Robbery

171

123

155

132

122

83

103

82

54

Violence

3,024

2,911

2,537

2,237

2,174

1,969

2,035

2,005

1,939

Sexual offences

166

170

172

175

169

188

175

166

194

Other crimes2

3,141

2,686

2,263

2,613

1,844

1,669

1,934

1,604

1,444

          

Total

23,080

22,784

20,935

18,901

17,886

14,480

15,199

13,576

11,928

1 Theft includes: ‘bicycle theft’, ‘shoplifting’, ‘theft from the person’ and ‘all other theft offences’. 2 Other crimes includes: ‘drug offences’, ‘fraud offences’, ‘miscellaneous crimes against society’, ‘possession of weapons offences’ and ‘public order offences’. Note: Data on police recorded crime are designated as Official Statistics following the UK Statistics Authority’s decision to withdraw the National Statistics badge from the police recorded crime data series. The full assessment report can be found on the UK Statistics Authority website.

These data have been published by the ONS and have been extracted from the data tables within the file entitled ‘Recorded crime data at Community Safety Partnership/Local Authority level from 2002/03’. This file is available here:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-322086

Consistent with published ONS crime trends data, the table above show figures for financial year periods, with the last data point covering the year ending March 2013. ONS have published data covering a more recent time period, year ending December 2013. The total number of crimes in the year ending December 2013 recorded by the police in York was 11,291. This figure has an overlap of three months (January 2013 to March 2013) with the 2012/13 financial year. The year ending December data are only available back to 2007, not 2004/05 as requested.

Police recorded crime data covering the year to December can be found in the ‘Recorded crime data at Community Safety Partnership/Local Authority level from 2002/03’ file, available here:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/re-reference-tables.html?edition=tcm%3A77-328141

Drugs: Misuse

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office how many deaths there were from (a) drug poisoning and (b) drug misuse in (i) York local authority area, (ii) North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, (iii) Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group area and (iv) England in each year since 2009. [198535]

10 Jun 2014 : Column 119W

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated June 2014:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office, how many deaths there were from (a) drug poisoning and (b) drug misuse in (i) York local authority area, (ii) North Yorkshire and York Primary Care Trust, (iii) Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group area and (iv) England in each year since 2009. (198535)

The tables provide the number of deaths where the underlying cause was related to drug poisoning (Table 1) or drug misuse (Table 2) for (i) York unitary authority, (ii) North Yorkshire and York primary care trust (iii) NHS Vale of York clinical commissioning group and (iv) England, for deaths registered between 2009 and 2012 (the latest year available).

The number of drug-related deaths registered in England and Wales from 1993 to 2012 are available on the ONS website at:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health3/deaths-related-to-drug-poisoning/index.html

In addition, the numbers of deaths and mortality rates from drug misuse in each local authority in England, for deaths registered between 2004 and 2012 are available on the ONS website at:

www.ons.gov.uk/ons/about-ons/business-transparency/freedom-of-information/what-can-i-request/published-ad-hoc-data/health/august-2013/drug-misuse-deaths-by-local-authority.xls

Table 1. Number of deaths where the underlying cause was related to drug poisoning, selected areas in England, deaths registered 2009 to 20121, 2, 3
Deaths (persons)
Area2009201020112012

York unitary authority

8

11

15

7

North Yorkshire and York primary care trust

34

34

34

29

Vale of York clinical commissioning group

10

14

18

15

England

2,675

2,509

2,425

2,367

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes shown in Box 1 as follows. 2 Figures are based on boundaries as at Feb 2014 and exclude deaths of non-residents. 3 Figures are based on deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring between 2009 and 2012. Due to the length of time it takes to hold an inquest, it can take months for a drug-related death to be registered. This registration delay also varies considerably between local areas. Additional information on registration delays for drug-related deaths can be found in the annual statistical bulletin: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health3/deaths-related-to-drug-poisoning/index.html
Table 2. Number of deaths related to drug misuse, selected areas in England, deaths registered 2009 to 20121, 2, 3, 4
Deaths (persons)
Area2009201020112012

York unitary authority

5

10

13

6

North Yorkshire and York primary care trust

23

25

26

18

Vale of York clinical commissioning group

7

11

15

10

10 Jun 2014 : Column 120W

England

1,729

1,625

1,461

1,356

1 Cause of death was defined using the International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10). Deaths were included where the underlying cause was due to drug poisoning and where a drug controlled under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 was mentioned on the death certificate. More details on the definition of a death related to drug misuse can be found in the background notes of the ‘Deaths related to drug poisoning in England and Wales’ statistical bulletin: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health3/deaths-related-to-drug-poisoning/index.html 2 Figures for drug misuse shown in Table 2 are included in the figures for all drug poisonings in Table 1. 3 Figures are based on boundaries as at Feb 2014 and exclude deaths of non-residents. 4 Figures are based on deaths registered, rather than deaths occurring between 2009 and 2012. Due to the length of time it takes to hold an inquest, it can take months for a drug-related death to be registered. This registration delay also varies considerably between local areas. Additional information on registration delays for drug-related deaths can be found in the annual statistical bulletin: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health3/deaths-related-to-drug-poisoning/index.html
Box 1. International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision (ICD-10) codes used to define deaths related to drug poisoning Description
 ICD 10 Codes

Mental and behavioural disorders due to drug use (excluding alcohol and tobacco)

F11–F16, F18–F19

Accidental poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X40–X44

Intentional self-poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X60–X64

Assault by drugs, medicaments and biological substances

X85

Poisoning by drugs, medicaments and biological substances, undetermined intent

Y10–Y14

Employment: York

Hugh Bayley: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what estimate the UK Statistics Authority has made of the number of (a) men and (b) women who were employed (i) full-time and (ii) part-time in York Central constituency for the 12-month Annual Population Survey periods ending in September in each year since the inception of the survey. [198531]

Mr Hurd: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson, dated June 2014:

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics (ONS), I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary question asking the Minister for the Cabinet Office, for the number of (a) men and (b) women who were employed (i) full-time and (ii) part-time in York Central constituency for the 12 month Annual Population Survey periods ending in September in each year since the inception of the survey.(198531)

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) compiles estimates of the number people in employment from the Annual Population Survey (APS) following International Labour Organisation (ILO) definitions.

The table shows the number of men and women resident in York Central constituency in full-time and part-time employment according to survey responses from the APS for the 12 month periods ending in September from 2005 to 2013.

10 Jun 2014 : Column 121W

As with any sample survey, estimates from the APS are subject to a certain level of uncertainty. A guide to the quality of the estimates of the levels is included on the tables.

National and local area estimates for many labour market statistics, including employment, unemployment and claimant count are available on the NOMIS website at:

http://www.nomisweb.co.uk

Table 1: Number of people in full-time and part-time employment resident in York Central constituency
Thousand
 MaleFemale
12 months ending September:Full-timePart-timeFull-timePart-time

2005

24

3

13

11

2006

22

3

12

12

2007

23

2

12

12

2008

24

3

12

11

2009

25

4

15

10

2010

24

3

17

10

2011

24

4

14

13

2012

23

4

12

15

20131

**25

***4

***13

***13

1 Coefficients of Variation have been calculated for the latest period as an indication of the quality of the estimates. See Guide to Quality. Guide to Quality: The Coefficient of Variation (CV) indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality. The true value is likely to lie within +/- twice the CV—for example, for an estimate of 200 with a CV of 5% we would expect the population total to be within the range 180-220. Key: * 0 = CV<5%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered precise ** 5 = CV <10%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered reasonably precise *** 10 = CV <20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered acceptable **** CV = 20%—Statistical Robustness: Estimates are considered too unreliable for practical purposes CV = Coefficient of Variation Source: Annual Population Survey